Abstract

Over the last five years, design for transition has emerged as a prominent critical paradigm in designing for sustainable futures. Transition design approaches are united in their aim of reorienting design practices to address global environmental catastrophe and societal inequality. Nevertheless, the discussion of gender and sexuality is notable for its absence. One exception is Arturo Escobar’s (2018) Designs for the Pluriverse. In this paper, I take Escobar’s discussion of gender as my starting point. I suggest that by utilising the concept of “Mother Earth” Escobar risks essentializing gender and biology and limiting the transformative potential of technology. I argue that transition design would benefit from queer feminist and queer indigenous perspectives that advocate for a non-binary approach. I go on to consider what it would mean to put the “trans*” into transition design.

Keywords:

Transition design, queer feminism, gender, natureculture

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Aug 11th, 12:00 AM

Putting the trans* into design for transition: reflections on gender, technology and natureculture

Over the last five years, design for transition has emerged as a prominent critical paradigm in designing for sustainable futures. Transition design approaches are united in their aim of reorienting design practices to address global environmental catastrophe and societal inequality. Nevertheless, the discussion of gender and sexuality is notable for its absence. One exception is Arturo Escobar’s (2018) Designs for the Pluriverse. In this paper, I take Escobar’s discussion of gender as my starting point. I suggest that by utilising the concept of “Mother Earth” Escobar risks essentializing gender and biology and limiting the transformative potential of technology. I argue that transition design would benefit from queer feminist and queer indigenous perspectives that advocate for a non-binary approach. I go on to consider what it would mean to put the “trans*” into transition design.

 

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